A Publication of WTVP

Last year, 46 human service organizations in the Tri-County Area participated in a survey to determine the sector’s impact on the regional economy. The survey found that participating organizations generate more than $442 million in annual economic output and represent about 2.4 percent of the region’s total employment. Combined, these 46 organizations received over $100 million in state, federal and local governmental funding. For every dollar received, the human service sector returns $3.53 in net economic output for the community.

That’s a lot of impact.

Without a doubt, human service organizations—and nonprofits in general—are integral partners in promoting a safe, healthy and prosperous community and improving the quality of life for all. But these continue to be challenging times for nonprofits, which have had to cut spending, tighten operations and become more creative about their fundraising. In short, they’ve have had to act more like businesses in order to survive.

To succeed in the future, nonprofits must “have a vision of where the organization is going and make daily decisions that inch them towards their goal,” says Eileen Ruby Setti, partner in the nonprofit consulting firm Ruby & Associates. More than just a buzzword, sustainability is critical to the future of any organization, nonprofit or otherwise, and in this issue, Setti attempts to crack the code for creating the sustainable nonprofit. The chalkboard equation on this issue’s cover is a rough interpretation… if only it were that easy!

For some nonprofits, that’s a lot of change, which can be quite scary. That’s why Setti, along with Mark Roberts of the Community Foundation of Central Illinois and Peoria City Councilman Chuck Weaver, have joined forces to produce “The Fundamentals of Nonprofit Business,” a series of workshops designed to develop the administrative, management and leadership skills of nonprofit leaders, board members, volunteers and staff—all at no charge. A number of community leaders and organizations have partnered in the effort to help our nonprofits succeed in ever-challenging times, and we thank them for their generosity.

Once again, it’s a collaborative effort that’s making the most impact. We see the same spirit of collaboration in the work of The Salvation Army and Red Cross on disaster relief, in LISC’s efforts to revitalize Peoria’s distressed neighborhoods, and in the United Way’s many partnerships.

Meanwhile, we’re working hard to prepare the next generation to step into leadership roles, serve on boards, and lend their time and treasure to these vital organizations. Marking its 20th anniversary this year, the 40 Leaders Under Forty program is one way to identify these up-and-coming leaders. Don’t forget to visit and nominate a young leader—the nomination window is open until 5pm on Friday, September 13th! iBi